Linguistics is the scientific study of language: how and why languages are constructed, where they came from, and how they vary around the world.

Through the examination of language as a type of human activity, linguistics explores the breadth and limitations of language use, straddling the sciences, social sciences and humanities. it is particularly useful to anyone learning or wanting to teach another language. Because the human experience is encoded and transmitted largely via language structures, linguistics is beneficial to those studying other cultures. It is also integral to the study of human cognition and child development as language processing plays a central role in both.

Housed in the Department of Spanish and French Studies, linguistics at Oxy is an interdisciplinary minor that combines courses in linguistics with courses in cognitive science, Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture, education, psychology, and Spanish & French Studies. A linguistics track within the Spanish major is also available. For further information, please see the program Courses & Requirements.

Graduates of the linguistics program have gone on to graduate school in linguistics and speech language pathology as well as work in education, research, the private sector, NGOs and the nonprofit world.

Occidental’s Group Language major allows you to combine the study of either two foreign languages or a language and linguistics.